which has two lounge areas that give the effect of floating on the water, appears to extend out to become a part of the waterways. It’s a feature John Doak describes as “poolisciousness” and creates a striking backdrop only enhanced by its deep blue color which is nearly identical to the shade of the creek just beyond.
When it comes to seamless indoor-outdoor living, one home in the exclusive waterfront community of Crystal Harbour has taken it to the next level.
Made almost entirely out of glass, the ultra-modern home is located on the southern end of Governors Creek and was purposely designed to optimize north-facing panoramic views.
John Doak Architecture led the design and engineering team while BCQS Construction
Management built the home. It is one of BCQS’s most modern builds to date, capturing many ideas drawn from previous projects.
Originally from the U.K., the owners of the house have been living in Cayman since the mid-’90s and have three active children in their early to late teens. They chose Crystal Harbour’s Galway Quay due to the idyllic lifestyle and its proximity to Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound Golf Club.
Set high above the quayside, the two-story 8,500-square-foot home has five bedrooms, including a large master suite with spacious bathroom, dressing area, gym and outdoor showers.
The main floor is built for entertaining with its free-flowing design and seamless living spaces. It comprises an open-plan living and dining room; office; eat-in kitchen with top-of-the-line Miele appliances; family room; and bar and games room (including a kegerator which provides a constant supply of cold beer). There is also a separate guest suite.
A dedicated home cinema off the dining area occupies two levels and is fully fitted-out for optimum vision and sound performance, making it the family’s favorite room for watching movies and concerts on its big screen.
All of the main floor living spaces on the waterside completely open up courtesy of 10-foot glass walls across the full width of the home, effortlessly merging the interior and exterior spaces into one.
A jaw-dropping 65-foot infinity edge pool (with lap pool and spa) further accentuates the unobstructed views of Governors Creek. Facing north, the pool area is partly shaded during the day and enjoys the ever-present cool easterly breezes.
Surrounded by a large covered outdoor living space that can be screened in with a push of a button, the backyard also has a garden and a dedicated BBQ and dining area with plenty of seating.
The pool, which has two lounge areas that give the effect of floating on the water, appears to extend out to become a part of the waterways. It’s a feature John Doak describes as “poolisciousness” and creates a striking backdrop only enhanced by its deep blue color which is nearly identical to the shade of the creek just beyond.
Other outdoor areas include a putting green near the front of the home and a generous yard at the side of the home that is currently set up for badminton and volleyball games, all of which the owners’ children take full advantage.
Vigoro designed the landscape and utilized artificial grass throughout for its low maintenance and natural appearance (and the added benefit of keeping bugs away). Hardy Cayman foliage was also planted that requires little irrigation.
In terms of interior design, the owners provided the creative talent themselves, including the lighting design, fixtures, fittings and furniture.
Most of the materials were locally procured and several island-based firms were employed for their labor and expertise. A Miami-based designer supplier was also employed, shipping many of the home’s pieces in from Italy.
The home has a beach-chic vibe with neutral tones of beige, white and soft gray and pops of vibrant color here and there. Eclectic artwork also adorns the walls. Wood features are perfectly juxtaposed with crisp clean lines, giving the house a warm, lived-in feel, despite its contemporary design.
There are also many organic forms and fixtures and natural finishes from stone features to porcelain tiles. In keeping with its harmonious nature, the home also contains many areas of custom-built cabinetry, such as floating and recessed shelving.
Of the home’s design philosophy, John Doak refers to it as “of this place.”
He hand-drew the sketches and design concepts for the house in August 2013 and once planning and building permits were approved, construction began in early 2015 with the home’s completion in May 2016.
The owners were hands-on throughout the entire building process; instrumental in coordinating specialist consultants such as kitchen designers, swimming pool engineers and the home automation systems – lighting, audio, visual and security – as well as the solar and renewable energy systems.
The result is a state-of-the-art home with no detail left unturned and the latest “smart” features and technology on the market today.
One major priority was to create a sustainable and energy efficient home that would instill low running and maintenance costs. To do this, the owners insulated the house and added 80 solar panels to the flat roof as well as a cistern to capture rainwater.
Other green features include LED lighting throughout and a high-efficiency Lennox air conditioning system. Due to the home’s strategic orientation, it respects the path of the sun, with the windows and walls carefully designed and engineered to minimize energy consumption. The home is also built with reinforced concrete and large hurricane-rated windows and doors, offering extra protection in times of high winds and rains.
One of the only difficult things the owners faced while designing the home was trying to choose the right finishes and styles among the vast selections found on various websites, all while trying to stay within budget – a time-consuming and overwhelming process.
For John, if there was any surprising outcome, it was that the views out over the pool and waterways were even more amazing than they imagined.
“The house the client never dreamed of, one might say.”